JustWrite has a now established partnership with Jodi Burshia’s English classes at Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute for a write and art exchange which culminates in a night of poetry and digital storytelling. This spring our featured writers are Byron Aspaas and Aleksander Sosaya. (See bios below.) Please joins us virtually via Zoom on April 7 from 5-6:30pm for this event.
Byron F. Aspaas uses experience to etch landscape onto white space. He is Diné. Aspaas holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts. His work is scattered throughout journals and anthologies, which include: RedInk, Yellow Medicine Review, 200 New Mexico Poems, Weber: The Contemporary West, As/Us: A Space for Women of the World, Semicolon, The Denver Quarterly, International Writing Program Collections, The Rumpus, and CloudThroat. He is Red Running into the Water, born for Bitter Water. Aspaas resides northeast of the Four Sacred Mountains with his partner, three cats, and six dogs in Colorado Springs. He is working on a collection of essays, short stories, and poems. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Aleksander Sosaya is a mixed media artist, a musician, and a father. Growing up in the Varrios of Santa Fe and serving time in detention facilities at a young age, Sosaya gained a unique perspective that heavily influences his artwork today. Aleksander’s accomplishments range from creating murals when he was in the Youth Diagnostic Detention Center, at the age of 15 for the Foster Grandparent Program, to published poetry and artwork throughout his time of incarceration and following his release. He was a collaborating artist with JustWrite in the Harwood Art Center, Bridge: Arts and Social Justice Exhibit. Aleksander’s art seeks to create awareness around issues of incarceration, solitary confinement, addiction, and poverty by sharing his own experiences through community collaboration and the healing and inspiring medium of visual arts. (email@example.com)
JustWrite will be tabling at the Albuquerque Zine Fest Saturday, October 5 from 11-5pm at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. We’ll be releasing our latest zine created by the gente of JustWrite inside the Bernalillo County Detention Center in collaboration with Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) students, in partnership with Jodi Burshia. Catch us this Saturday and get a copy of our new zine; we’ll have all previous volumes on hand as well. We can’t wait to see you there!
Zine cover art by Acoma aka Tristin Routzen.
We lived so hard
And so authentically
To Write our lives
My fellow poets
Our hearts shake the world
A constant tremor
We heard the call
And chose not to remain
Now they have our
Hearts in their hands
This is how we pulled them
Into The Conversation
A matter of survival
Expressed with style
The world is full of weapons
To split the atom
Vaporizing our worst enemy
We hold the keys
To our mental prison
the thousand separate
Islands of our despair
In a world full of pain
We chose poetry
JustWrite will be posted up outside The Boiler Monkey from 6 to 9pm downtown Albuquerque tonight 10/5 for First Friday Artwalk. ABQ Artwork is a collaboration between downtown businesses, venues, and artists. We hope to see you there!
JustWrite facilitates ongoing workshops in the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center. Albuquerque journalist Matthew Reisen joined us for one of our workshops and wrote an article about it, Inmates find solace in writing program. Check out the full story here.
Albuquerque, New Mexico Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal
JustWrite is partnering with Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute (SIPI) and Two Way Street for a write exchange in 2018. Jodi Burshia (Laguna Pueblo, Diné, Hunkpapa Lakota) is a faculty at SIPI and will engage her English class in a the write exchange. Two Way Street will also participate in this exchange. This exchange will culminate in a reading/performance on Thursday August 9, 2018, 5-7pm in the Academic Support Center on SIPI campus.
Diahndra of JustWrite is facilitating writing and visual art workshops at the Albuquerque Metropolitan Detention Center currently. JustWrite also engages those incarcerated through postal mail across the state of Nuevo Mexico. Visit us here on our website, nowrongjustwrite.org, for updates and to see this exchange come to life.
You can find this exchange and new poetry each week from these writers under “Write” or here.
JustWrite will be tabling at the Albuquerque Zine Fest October 9, 2017 at The Tannex from 11-6pm. Come out and meet some of our artists, and check out our zines created in prisons and youth detention centers where we’ve facilitated visual and literary arts workshops. These are one of a kind zines with original artwork.
Find out more and check out our interview for the Zine Fest here:
“Beyond Bars: Working With and Against the Carceral System through Creative Writing”
The decolonial love issue promotes human awareness beyond the bars of the carceral system. As artists we ask questions like – where does our greatest growth occur? How does learning take place? Where can we share those lessons learned? In a society in which we maintain oppression and inequalities through the use of punishment andviolence, we are in urgent need of transformation and enlightenment.
Stark truths beckon us to hear, acknowledge and respond. As/Us is our response to that urgent need. The journal started with a mission to create more spaces in the world for voices to be shared. We ask: how can we create community that translates off the page? How do stories guide others through their humanity and into decolonial love?
This issue features writers exploring the theme of decolonial love. Some contributions were selected from our open call for submission while others were selected by the co-creators of Just Write (an organization that works with underserved communities in the education sector and those who are incarcerated) and Tria Andrews, who worked with writers from Prison University Project at San Quentin State Prison.
Our session will involve a brief overview of teaching experiences within the carceral system and the choice to interweave pieces by those who are incarcerated and those who aren’t to address power hierarchies. In this publication, a common thread of humanity weaves its way through themes of addiction, incarceration, domestic and state violence, poverty, hope, love, despair, loss, healing, and survival – all written inside the walls of prisons, some finding their way to us from the depths of solitary confinement.
JustWrite is excited and honored to be collaborating with As/Us, a literary journal and space showcasing creative literary expressions and scholarly work, to publish JustWrite participant’s poetry both online and in a printed version of the journal. You can visit the As/Us website for the current online version http://asusjournal.org/ In the following collection of poetry from incarcerated and formerly incarcerated authors, a common thread of humanity weaves its way through themes of addiction, incarceration, domestic and state violence, poverty, hope, love, despair, loss, healing and survival – all written inside the walls of prisons, some finding their way to us from the depths of solitary confinement. These words are from the hearts, souls, and minds of men who have found the courage and concern to speak and let their voices echo through a society who often dismisses or denies their very existence. Stark truths beckon us to hear, acknowledge and respond. We hope you are inspired as we have been by these courageous writers.
JustWrite is hosting a workshops series involving creating and collaborating around our experiences of incarceration, addiction, state, and domestic violence. We’ve been working toward the Social Justice Exhibit in partnership with The Harwood Art Center, open for viewing for the whole month of September. Please join us this Thursday 9/3 at 6pm at The Harwood.
Diahndra Grill and Carlos Contreras of JustWrite partner with Harwood Arts Center to host an interactive multimedia exhibit featuring artists in transition and community members who have shared experiences of incarceration, addiction, state, and domestic violence. This exhibit is a visual/visceral experience that illustrates how art in community can bridge previously disconnected populations.